Tri

The dual-stick shooter genre has seen a resurgence in recent years, thanks to Geometry Wars. While frantic, top-down shooters can be addictive, they never managed to draw me in, due to the reflexes required; I just can’t keep up.

Tri is a different story. Tri involves moving your triangle around the map and shooting at enemies, much like Asteroid. Instead of frantically dodging debris and enemies, however, the pace is slow and methodical thanks to one small change: You have to stop moving to fire. Your enemies also stop moving in order to fire, and between shots there’s a recharge time where you cannot start firing again. Holding down the fire button for longer improves your shot’s accuracy, but also increases the time it takes to recharge. This turns a rapid-fire bullet-fest into a methodical sniper battle.

The enemies also vary based on accuracy, speed and re-fire rate, which means you can have “sniper” enemies which can aim all the way across the map, or enemies that are so fast they can close the distance rapidly. The map also changes constantly, with obstacles and corners to hide behind that are necessary to fight some of the higher level enemies. An open fight would be suicide; you have to use the terrain to your advantage to win.

It’s a very minimalist looking game, with geometric shapes representing the enemies and black lines on a white background for anything else. Simplistic and easy to pick up, this game’s levels keep throwing new twists at you that keep the game interesting.

Why You Should Check This Out: Tri is a thinking-man’s top-down shooter. You stop to aim and fire every time you shoot, and your enemies do the same, which means the gameplay almost takes on a turn-based feel at times. You still have to be able to aim quickly, but the constant positioning and re-positioning of yourself and your enemies makes the game methodical. And the enemy and level variety keep the game from getting bogged down.

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Comments

I've found that the only way I can passingly play twin stick shooters is on the pc, with my face inches away from the action ... and using a 360 controller, of course.

Wow. I almost find this game harder than a twin sticks shooter. Those snipers are hard, but the level design is fun.

Damn you, Papa Tango Sector. Damn you.

"Yankee Sector — There's Magic all up in this bitch."

I lol'd.

garion333 wrote:

I've found that the only way I can passingly play twin stick shooters is on the pc, with my face inches away from the action ... and using a 360 controller, of course.

I have the same problem. For some reason I just need the fine control of the mouse to aim, very similar to my problem with shooters on the console. Thank goodness Geometry Wars came out on Steam. Now if they would just do the same with JoyJoy.

Edit: thought your quote meant the opposite of what you actually said. I need to eat lunch.

I'm all right at both mouse and twin-stick, but part of the problem is that my Logitech Rumblepad 2 has square recesses for the sticks. I'm not sure if that's a patent thing or just a really bad idea, but it doesn't work too great for when you need to be able to quickly rotate in any direction. It also makes some games a lot harder (Indigo Prophecy, I'm looking at you).

The last level was a bit disappointing, but at least it didn't have any damn Squares.

I liked this, overall. I suppose it is a bit more of a thinking man's shooter than a geometry wars-style game where you just have to know the right combo or attack for a given scenario. It's still a bit twitch-based, though, and there were several instances where you just had to get lucky. One level in particular, with two squares on the sides and a sniper up top with minimal coverage, you had to nail your first two shots in order to survive, and you had very little time to set them up (i.e. a ton of spread on the gun). I found I could get past the first square one out of about every five times. I would personally hesitate to label it as a thinking man's game, due to the dice rolls.

Still, the level design was nice and varied, so the concept stayed fresh all the way through.

UnclGhost wrote:

I'm all right at both mouse and twin-stick, but part of the problem is that my Logitech Rumblepad 2 has square recesses for the sticks. I'm not sure if that's a patent thing or just a really bad idea, but it doesn't work too great for when you need to be able to quickly rotate in any direction. It also makes some games a lot harder (Indigo Prophecy, I'm looking at you).

Sorry to derail a bit here, but I have one of those Logitechs and an actual 360 controller is WAY better. The response is spot on all around, while I never felt like the Logitech was quite plug and play. I still break it out on occasion when a friend is over, but otherwise it collects dust. Wait for a wired 360 controller to go on sale, it's a worthwhile investment.

The final battle was a nice touch but...

Spoiler:

I thought the last five or so levels were a little too easy. The one where the squares just run at you was the worst. They didn't even shoot back, all you had to do was time your shots and stay in one place. Had those last few been towards the beginning the difficulty ramp would have been a little more even.

Most levels happened in two phases for me. The first 5 seconds where you hoped the three or four enemies all pointing at you would miss their first shot while you simultaneously knocked off one of them. Usually the square rushing to smash into you. Then you could use cover and play the game Pyro was talking about. Setup your shots and take them out methodically. I'd die several times in that first 5 seconds, but as soon as that shot was off and the square was dead the rest were easy to take out. The boss level was a bit disappointing. Perhaps the spray of pixels should be have been deadly, or less cover to hide behind. Otherwise it was just a test of patience. Even firing with the worst accuracy was enough to kill off most of them. Well designed game and interesting game overall though. Good find Pyro.